The excitement of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships is in the air around the Bluegrass State. The Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington is the revered host of this year’s series of grade I Thoroughbred horse races held on November 4th and 5th.
In honor of the event, we asked Horse Country to give us the inside scoop on the top Thoroughbreds to keep an eye out for, and then we paired them with some of our favorite Bourbon cocktails.
Horse Country is deeply intertwined with racing’s biggest event as their membership is made up of thoroughbred owners, breeders, consignors, stud farm proprietors and so much more. So when they give us advice on the track, we listen!
Cheers to these impressive horses – we can’t wait to root for them as they compete on the world’s stage, right here in Lexington.
Enjoy Bourbon and betting responsibly!
Malathaat is as Horse Country as they come. She was bred by Stonestreet Farm and is a daughter of Dreaming of Julia, a G1-winning Stonestreet homebred. Denali Stud consigned Malathaat at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2019, where she sold for $1.05 million. She is currently one of the leading older horses in her division, having won two Grade 1 races this season, and is set to run in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 5.
You can visit Denali Stud during Breeders’ Cup Week and learn about the process of breeding and raising young Thoroughbreds for success in the sales ring and on the track. Click here to book your tour of Denali Stud.
Malathaat-inspired cocktail: the Manhattan
The Manhattan is the go-to Bourbon cocktail for those of us possessing a mature, sturdy nature with a sweet, soft side too. The 2021 Kentucky Oaks winner is just that, a hard knocking filly who has stared down tough competition over her racing career. With three Grade-1 wins over the track at Keeneland, this filly looks reliable coming into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff, it would be the cherry on top of a remarkable racing career. Recipe for the Manhattan can be found here.
There’s not much more to say about Flightline than simply, wow. A son of Tapit (standing at Gainesway Farm), Flightline is undefeated in five starts and continues to be a force to be reckoned with since his first time at the track. This year, Flightline dazzled in both of his starts, winning the G1 Metropolitan Handicap by six lengths and the G1 Pacific Classic by 19 ¼ lengths.
Upon retirement, Flightline will enter stud at the famed Lane’s End Farm. He is pointed to the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 5, and you can visit his future home during Breeders Cup week and through November! Click here to book your tour of Lane’s End Farm.
Flightline-inspired cocktail: Bourbon Neat
Bartenders and fellow patrons alike know you’re not messing around when you order a Bourbon neat, and let’s be honest, most people are only sipping neat with a favorite, maybe even rare Bourbon. Flightline embodies a good Bourbon neat: a rare equine athlete, undefeated in five starts, winning by 19 lengths in his last! This is a horse you want to sit back and appreciate, taking him in one sip, we mean, stride at a time.
Life is Good
Life is Good indeed for the connections of Life is Good, a son of Into Mischief (standing at Spendthrift Farm). The colt has earned over $4.3 million during his career thus far, thanks to victories in the G1 Pegasus World Cup, G1 Whitney Stakes and the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. The colt will seek to add a second Breeders’ Cup victory to his resume in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 5. Life is Good is owned in partnership by WinStar Farm, and upon retirement he will take up stallion duties at WinStar Farm for the 2023 breeding season.
You can visit WinStar Farm during Breeders’ Cup week! Click here to book your tour.
Life is Good-inspired cocktail: the Whiskey Sour
One of the stalwarts of the Bourbon cocktails, the Whiskey Sour is a go-to for regular Bourbon cocktail enthusiasts. With a bit of zest in every sip, the Whiskey sour brings out all the best that a good Bourbon has to offer. The same is true for Life is Good and his winning ways on the racetrack. He’s already a Breeders’ Cup winner after taking home the trophy in last year’s edition of the Dirt Mile. As he enters the Classic this year, let us enjoy a Whiskey Sour and remind ourselves that life is good. Recipe for the Whiskey Sour can be found here.
Previous Winners, Current Connections
Young sire Oscar Performance is already off to a hot start at stud, with three probable starters in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland (Deer District, Andthewinneris and Lachaise). While racing, Oscar Performance was a star on the turf course, picking up victories in such races as the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, G1 Woodbine Mile and more. Now standing at Mill Ridge Farm, his first foals to race are two year olds this year – and they are off to a great start.
You can visit Mill Ridge Farm during Breeders’ Cup Week, and we highly recommend their Breeders’ Cup Experience featuring Oscar Performance and other connections to the event. Click here to book your tour.
Oscar Performance-inspired cocktail: the Paper Plane
Who doesn’t love to try a new cocktail on the scene? Especially when it has all the right ingredients. Enter the Paper Plane and Oscar Performance – both are becoming classics in their own right. Oscar Performance won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, and now with his first crop he has sired multiple runners for this year’s Juvenile Turf as well! While he still has to prove his mettle in the years to come, he’s off to a flying start. Recipe for the Paper Plane can be found here.
Three Chimneys Farm resident Gun Runner has quickly become one of the leading sires of the generation, and is currently the leading sire of three-year-old Thoroughbreds in North America. A Breeders’ Cup Classic winner during his time on the racetrack, Gun Runner is represented by seven pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland (Cyberknife, Echo Zulu, Grand Love, Gunite, Society, Taiba, Wicked Halo).
You can visit Three Chimneys Farm during Breeders’ Cup Week, and you might even see the champion Gun Runner himself! Click here to book your tour.
Gun Runner-inspired cocktail: the Old Fashioned
The OG Bourbon cocktail, the Old Fashioned, has been the foundation for many a new, inspired Bourbon cocktail over the last few years. 2017 Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Gun Runner, is much the same. In his second career now as a stallion, Gun Runner was the leading first-crop sire last year and has sired seven racehorses who are entered in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup. We bow down to the OGs, both the cocktail and the horse. Recipe for the Old Fashioned can be found here.
Rooting For Everyone? The Stone Fence
Not sure who to choose? We’ve got a cocktail for that too!
The Bluegrass Region is famed for the stone fences lining its beautiful, scenic farms. Many of Horse Country member’s boundaries are lined by them – so if you’re thinking, “I’d like to just have a good Bourbon drink and root for all of them – look no further than the Stone Fence. A perfect treat for this fall with an apple cider touch, it’s a tasty treat that will give you all the Kentucky feels for this Breeders’ Cup.
Recipe for the Stone Fence can be found here.
The 2022 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will take place November 4th and 5th at the Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky. Horse Country is offering a number of public and private tour experiences during Breeders’ Cup week, which can be found here.
About Horse Country
Based in Lexington, Ky, Horse Country is a not-for-profit membership organization that offers fans a behind-the-scenes look at the equine industry through tours of member farms, veterinary clinics and other equine attractions in Kentucky. Check out Horse Country on social media: Instagram @visithorsecountry Facebook @kentuckyhorsecountry and Twitter @kyhorsecountry. For more information: www.visithorsecountry.com.